Running With Mark 32

Day Thirty-Two – January 29, 2020  

Read: Luke 8:31-41 New Revised Standard Version

Verse 38 says, “The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him.”

The Twelve Steps have been an avenue to sobriety, community and faith for many people suffering from addictions.  I have seen lives and families transformed as the person (and the family) gets healthy. 

As their pastor, people have sometimes shared their story, shown me their chip, and shared how God has helped them gain sobriety. 


There are some slight variations of Step 12 depending on the type of group it is, but generally it reads much like this:  “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we try to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” This is the step in which sober individuals begin helping those who are still struggling with addiction. This may come in the form of sponsoring other people, taking service commitments, or participating in things like twelve step calls.  In a 12 Step Call the person makes themselves available to help others get sober.


Folks for whom I have been pastor have come to me to live out their 12th step saying, “If you hear of someone in the church who needs someone to talk to about their addiction , or they need someone walk with them into their first A.A. or Al-anon meeting, please give them my name.”  Indeed, I watched how one person steered and accompanied another toward sobriety.  


There’s much we can learn from those in recovery, and from the man from whom Jesus had driven out an unclean spirit.  They have discovered how to pay it forward. 

Jesus invites us into wholeness and healing in community.  It can be new experience, and even a little scary, to let others see our struggles, faults and failings.  It can feel vulnerable, but it also can bring incredible freedom.  It takes a lot of work to keep up the façade of having your stuff together.  Letting go of that façade, is a lot like a butterfly letting go of the cocoon. Something new and beautiful emerges.


  • Do you have someone with whom you can share your most vulnerable and true self?
  • Are you part of a small group at church? Small groups can be a great way to get to know others and be known by them.  Small groups can encourage, comfort, console and challenge their members. 
  • What story of struggle would you share? What story of healing would you share?




Waymaker – Voices of Lee

Softly and Tenderly – sung by Audrey Assad


Prayer Focus:

Talk to God about the 12th step.  Are you in need of someone to walk with you into sobriety?  Are you at a place to help others?  Ask God to make you ready to share your story.


Grace and peace,

Pastor Karen Bruins